Wednesday, September 30, 2009

More Exploring The Oregon Coast

Yesterday we had a lazy morning waiting for the rain to stop.  It finally stopped around noon so off we went with ALL of us wearing our new raincoats.  Mark needed to exchange his because it was just too big.  All of us had to buy one size smaller than we normally wear but Mark didn’t and later decided he needed to also.  We drove down to the wharf in Newport where he exchanged his jacket and then ventured out to the docks again to look at all the sea lions lounging around.


After that we decided to head south since we had already ventured north the day before.  The Oregon coastline is just amazing and around every bend it changes.  Since we had storms all night and half the morning the waves were pretty big.



We saw yet ANOTHER lighthouse



As we came around the cove on the other side of the lighthouse I got out of the car to take a picture of the other side when I thought I could hear more sea lions.  I looked over the ledge and this is what I saw


The sea lions are just everywhere.  I was looking forward to seeing the Sea Lion Caves as it is  advertised as the world’s largest sea cave.  But when we got there we found out it’s privately owned and there is a $12 charge per person to see it.  Oh well, I guess we’ve seen enough sea lions for free.

We drove down to Honeyman State Park as this was supposed to be our next stop.  No way that was going to work.  It’s very heavily treed so there is no way we would get satellite reception.  Another one of our friends stayed there and said they weren’t even able to get any local channels either.  I’m not ready for not having internet or TV again.  We found out it’s only about 50 miles there and we need to make it at least another 100 miles or so or we’ll never get out of Oregon and make it to Utah before the snow starts falling.

On the way home we decided we needed to get some more steamer clams so we stopped at the South Beach Fish Market for dinner.


Don’t these look YUMMY???



We then headed home and realized we have been here for three days and hadn’t even seen “our” beach.  The path to the beach is only 1/4 mile long along a nice boardwalk.  Mark decided he was just too cold so Rod, Dortha and I headed to the walkway.  This is what we saw as we got to the entrance to the path…


We don’t drive around with the radio on so we had no idea this had happened.  Apparently there was an 7.9 earthquake yesterday in Samoa and there is supposed to be a one foot tidal surge tonight.  Okay, we can handle one foot.

We walked down to the beach and saw this beautiful sunset.


Mark & Dortha are packing up and moving today and heading home to Texas to take care of some things there.  We’re sure going to miss them but who knows where we’ll meet up again down the road.  We’ve had such a good time traveling around with them for the last few months and at least we know we’ll see them in Rockport, Texas in March.

Today we’re going to do boring stuff like laundry and house cleaning.  I guess we can’t play every day…

Tuesday, September 29, 2009

Exploring in the rain

We set out yesterday morning to do some exploring before the rain was supposed to come.  We had heard on the weather forecast that it was going to hold off until the afternoon.  Sure enough it did.  We headed out to see some of the pullouts that we had seen on the way down the coast when we were headed for our campground.  First we had to go up to Lincoln City where Mark had to find a Radio Shack for some kind of  part for his tow car.  Soon it was time to find something quick for lunch.


Our first stop was across the Yaquina Bay to the the Yaquina Bay Lighthouse.




Then off to see the ever changing Oregon coast.



More of the sights on the coast





Soon we were in Depoe Bay where we all had to buy some more salt water taffy.  There were LOTS of different flavors but Dortha decided she liked the stuff we got in Seaside better.  She’s going to have to buy some in Newport now to compare them all…




After that we headed to Newport to the waterfront after getting a phone call from our friend, Jenny.  She gave us some info on things to see in the area.  Thanks Jenny!!


I have NEVER seen so many crab pots in my life!!


Jenny specifically told us about this one…..


The sea lions were just lazing around


Dortha found a shop on the waterfront that was selling raincoats on sale so we all bought ourselves new ones.  Today the sun is out.  LOL  That’s okay.  I think we’re going to go do some more exploring, rain or shine.

Monday, September 28, 2009

Moving Down The Oregon Coast

Today we were supposed to leave Nehalem Beach State Park but we decided to move yesterday instead.  So, today we are at South Beach State Park just south of Newport.  We hem hawed around about leaving because there are no refunds but decided we just wanted to keep moving further south towards Salt Lake City before the snow comes.  The drive down the coast is absolutely beautiful!  I’ve always loved the beach in San Diego and the California coast but driving up and down Interstate 5 I never saw the Oregon coast because it’s on Highway 101.



After pulling in our spot and finding we had internet and TV made me a happy girl.  I love being in state parks but sometimes there are just too many trees around for our satellite dish.  When we do get clearance through the trees it’s just an added bonus.

We decided to go out and get fish and chips (halibut) for dinner at this  little place we saw on the way.  Jim, you would have LOVED this little dive!  We had steamer clams for an appetizer and found out Mark and Dortha had never had them before.  Mark also got to finally have his oyster shooter which he had never tried either.  He said it’s taken him a long time to get up the nerve to eat a raw oyster but said it was pretty good.  They also loved the steamers.


This is where they cook the live crabs right outside the entrance


Today we’re going to explore more of the scenery that we passed yesterday.  I told Dortha about the salt water taffy in Newport being better than what we got in Seaside so they need to get more since they (Mark) finished what they had.

Saturday, September 26, 2009

Another Day Exploring

Friday was another beautiful day here on the Oregon coast.  We went exploring to the north this time.  Mark & Dortha had been following the Lewis and Clark trail ever since South Dakota and Dortha really wanted to see where they had finally reached the coast.  We also needed to get some stamps in our National Parks passports.  Dortha & Ellie turned me on to these passports where you get stamps every time you visit a National Park.  We’ve been fulltiming for almost 2 years now and have been to several National Parks.  Some of them we’ve even been to a few times.  Now I have to go back to them just so I can get a stamp in my passport.  LOL 




Mark is trying out the wood carving “machine”


We left there to find something for lunch.  First we stopped at Costco for a few things and Mark & Rod being the oh so generous ones decided we would have the $1.50 hotdogs for lunch.  Mark even treated!  :)


We saw this cute little pickup in the parking lot


After “lunch” we headed for Astoria because we didn’t do anything when we passed through it last week.  Our mission was to climb to the top of the Astoria Column.  It has 164 stairs to the top!  Mark didn’t want to go up because he doesn’t like heights and he was apprehensive about the railing at the top.  Rod doesn’t like heights either but he was a trooper and climbed up with Dortha and I.  He came out to the observation deck for a nanno second and high tailed it back down.


Looking down at Mark


The view from the top was amazing!!


Next we crossed the bridge over to Washington to see the lighthouses at Cape Disappointment.  This is where the Columbia River meets the Pacific Ocean.  The first stop was the North Head Lighthouse.


On the trail to the lighthouse Rod spotted a porcupine in the bushes.  He was chomping away on some leaves and didn’t even care that we were there snapping picture after picture.


The North Head Lighthouse


Next it was on to the Cape Disappointment lighthouse.  The trail to this one was a lot harder than the first one.  This one was a mile round trip and was up and down hills.


The scenery along the trail was absolutely GORGEOUS!


We made it!


Cape Disappointment where the Columbia meets the ocean



After that we headed home and enjoyed another campfire with cheese and crackers.  LOL  I think this weekend is going to be pretty much doing nothing since we’ll have a few channels we can watch football on.  We don’t have internet so I need to go over to Dortha’s and upload all these blogs I’ve written.  She uses an aircard with a router and the cell phone reception here is really good.  We’ll be leaving here on Monday and hopefully the next park will have a clear view of the southern sky so we can get our internet back.

Nehalem Bay State Park, Oregon

We left Troutdale on Wednesday for the 112 mile trip to Nehalem Bay State Park.  It was an uneventful drive with just one short stop.  Mark and Dortha followed us here because Jim & Ellie decided to stay in the Portland area for the rest of the month.  We’ll see them later when they get to the coast at Lincoln City.  We had a fantastic time with them in WA and in OR and can’t wait to meet up with them again.  We have no internet here so I’m posting on Live Writer and will upload on another day.  We are in a heavily wooded area and the satellite dish tried for about four hours to find a gap in the trees to no avail.  We have a few local channels and also our phones work so it’s not like we are totally isolated.  We had a great campfire last night after throwing some burgers and potatoes together for dinner.

The beach here at the park



Our main purpose for staying here was the proximity to the Tillamook Cheese factory.  I found out Mark loves cheese as much as I do!  I was fascinated watching the cheese being made but couldn’t hardly wait to get to the tasting and the gift shop.




Uh oh!!


They also make ice cream there


YAY!!  Samples!!


They also have a cafe so we ALL had to have what else??  Grilled cheese sandwiches and soup.



And then of course we HAD to get our ice cream


We reluctantly left the cheese factory after exhausting everything we could have possible done there.  Dortha had gotten some information on a driving tour of three capes in the area, one with a lighthouse.


The first one was Cape Meares with a lighthouse.




Then it was on to the Octopus Tree



Next was Cape Lookout where we saw these wind surfers


On the way to our last cape, Cape Kiwanda, we saw some sand dunes where people were riding all sorts of things.



We finally made it to our last stop at Cape Kiwanda.  It was getting late in the afternoon and the temps really drop when the sun starts setting.




Now THAT’S a sand dune.  Luckily Dortha didn’t make us climb it.  :)


On the way home we saw a huge herd of elk but since they were all behind a barbed wire fence we figured it must be an elk ranch of some kind.


It was yet another fantastic day with Mark & Dortha and we headed home.  Nobody was hungry for dinner after our late lunch at the cheese factory.  Rod built another campfire and we enjoyed cheese and crackers.